Canberra Snippets

a website by Geri Bryant-Badham

Category: Writing Page 1 of 3

Julia Baird’s Phosphorescence

In her beautifully-written, thoughtful book, Phosphorescence, renowned author and journalist, Dr Julia Baird, describes her love for ocean swimming, the magic properties of water, and her quest for lightness. Certainly, prayer, meditation, and life’s simple pleasures, helped her through some very dark days of illness and other difficulties. Drawing on lessons from many experts, such as astronauts, doctors, historians, philosophers, photographers, marine biologists, scientists and sociologists, Julia invokes some of their lessons, but also doesn’t discount the contribution of artists, poets, painters, writers and other creative people in helping people through dark times.  … Read more.

Kitty’s 488 Rules

Acclaimed Actor, comedian and writer, Kitty Flanagan, lays down some ground rules in her very amusing 488 Rules for Life, inspired by Jordan Peterson’s bestseller 12 Rules for Life. Kitty has taken her brief further – she has 12 rules for the bathroom alone. Her wise thoughts are those with which many of us agree, and include tips for the home, office, celebrations, food, dating, language, lifestyle, parenting, sport, technology and travel.  … Read more.

Lockdown in Canberra

Feelings of being claustrophobic, shut in, or cooped up, during lockdown, are bound to fray even the most even of tempers. Strains on people’s mental and physical health become evident, as we long for “everything to be back to normal” (though just what is “normal” now?) But there are the positives.  … Read more.

Mrs Chester’s Brilliant Boy: Doc Evatt’s dissenting judgment

Herbert Vere (“Doc”) Evatt (1894-1965), was a brilliant Australian lawyer, politician and writer, whose controversial stances, and erratic behaviour at times, invariably invited strong criticism. However, he did have a strong band of supporters. Evatt’s career included representing Australia in the British war cabinet (1942-1943), being one of the architects of the United Nations and later, President of the UN General Assembly.  … Read more.

Professor Ron McCallum at 1RPH lunch

Named the 2011 Senior Australian of the Year and with many other awards and accolades, Professor Ron McCallum AO, recently spoke about his memoir, Born At The Right Time, at a radio for the print handicapped (1RPH) lunch at Canberra’s Ainslie Football Club. Having a distinguished career as a lawyer and academic, Professor McCallum was the first blind person to be appointed as Dean at an Australian University (Sydney University).  … Read more.

Book Introductions

Recently in his regular Weekend Australian Magazine article, broadcaster-journalist, Phillip Adams, cited some memorable openings from novels: “…Melville’s elemental ‘Call me Ishmael’; Austen’s elegant ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune might be in want of a wife’;…Tolstoy’s ‘Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way’”.  … Read more.

Williamson’s Family Values in Canberra

David Williamson’s Family Values

Staged in Canberra recently, David Williamson’s play, Family Values (Lee Lewis (director); Griffin Theatre Company) presented a mix of poignant and lighter moments, its wonderful cast laying bare some of Australia’s not-so-pleasant aspects about the treatment of refugees and boat people. Just to set the scene. Recently-retired 70-year-old federal court judge, Roger (Andrew McFarlane) clearly hopes to enjoy some birthday celebrations with his family including his lively (very much a “doctor’s-wife” type), Sue (Belinda Giblin).  … Read more.

Ten Doors Down

Ten Doors Down

Former federal parliamentarian and Keating government minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Robert Tickner, recently shared his story from the warm summer’s day in 1993 when he was re-united with his birth mother. Speaking with Canberra Times journalist, Karen Hardy, Robert read from his book, Ten Doors Down as, describing his mixture of happiness and “roller coaster of emotions” as he waited near Sydney’s Opera House and “magnificent harbour” for the mother who had last held him as a tiny baby some 41 years’ previously.  … Read more.

After She Left

Canberra author, researcher and editor, Penelope Hanley’s latest book, After She Left, takes readers on a journey through five decades, focusing largely on three main characters: bohemian artist, Deirdre O’Mara, an Irish émigré in 1927 to Sydney, where she soon gives birth to her daughter, Maureen. Maureen takes a different life path to her mother, opting for marriage at a young age and devotion to husband, children, hearth and home.  … Read more.

Canberra street libraries

Street library photoHaving been popular overseas for some time, street libraries are now dotting the landscape in many parts of Australia, including Canberra. Books covering many genres are offered free of charge, presented in a variety of containers, such as old fridges, filing or television cabinets or purpose-built cupboards. These mini libraries are a hub for borrowing or exchanging, with no charges, fines or need for a library card.  … Read more.

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